The Cimalian Princess: Clone
by AJ Marks
Meia glanced around her cell once more. They had taken her out a few times to do something. She wondered how long they would keep her around before finally killing her. She had yet to figure out a way to escape. Trapped and under her uncle’s mercy caused her a bit of despair.
The door opened again allowing a small sliver of light into the cell. She saw the dust particles floating in the ray of light. The figure of her uncle appeared again. Meia figure he3 came around for his dose of torment and enjoyment. It was the only logical explanation she could come up with.
“Well, well, you’re probably wondering what I’ve got in store for you little one,” she heard him say as she backed up a bit but said nothing. “Still the talkative one. That’s all right, you’ll be here for a bit longer, I’ve got a use for you. I’ve had a lot of plans for you since the first day I saw you. You have all the characteristics of the Cimal family, blonde hair, blue eyes, skillful, fast, everything.”
Meia struggled against her irrational fear to try and listen to his words. She wanted to flee from him despite the fact he seemed talkative and willing to give her the information.
“I always had a plan for you. I planned out your entire life, then you had to be tested and I should have expected it, after all my brother was what he was, an exceptional pilot as well,” he grinned. “Bet you didn’t know that.”
Meia managed to look up at her uncle. True he had blue eyes much like her own, and greying blonde hair before looking back down. Why did she have such a reaction to him?
“Well, I’ll let you go with this. You’ve given me the very instrument to guarantee the Empire’s success.”
She watched him leave the cell and was alone again. She took a few minutes to calm her breathing and heartbeat. Thinking about everything the only thing which made any sense was her uncle conditioned her reaction when she was younger.
The idea he had watched her all of her life scared her. The fact he had her life planned out scared her even more. What else did he have planned for her? She decided to not stay around and find out. Her new goal was to escape from this place and head home, back to the Akagi.
Randy returned to his office after the fleet returned to hyperspace and back to the Alliance. He thought about everything which happened recently. The Alliance now knew where the Cimalian Empire was. The problem he had now was much simpler. Upon leaving their homeworld did they have one or more planets?
The computer chimed breaking Randy out of his thoughts as it indicated a report was filed. He glanced at the screen noticing that the doctor had finished his report. He scanned through the report as the doctor had looked over Meia. He said she appeared in perfect health and no drugs in her system leaving Randy a bit relieved about that. He also knew not all injuries were physical and Meia had her share of mental injuries.
He checked again seeing an absence of Meia’s report. Opening a new message he politely requested her report before sending it off. He thought about her and wondered if she was probably in her room. Perhaps she needed someone to talk to about what happened. Making up his mind he headed off to her quarters.
Arriving at Meia’s quarters a few minutes later he hesitated at her door unsure about knocking and interrupting her. The door opened instead, startling him, and revealed Meia standing there. He blinked seeing her blonde hair and to him it looked wrong. He got used to seeing her with blue hair.
“Un, hey, I was in the area and, well, I was wondering if you’d like to get something to eat?” Randy managed to stumble out.
“That sounds great,” Meia replied with a smile.
Randy found himself mesmerized by her smile. Meia smiled only a few times and each time he wanted to see it again.
“Come on, they’re serving pizza today,” Randy said. “But don’t think this counts as our dinner date.”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Meia replied.
They made their way to the elevator, passing a few other pilots in their brown flight suits. He noticed Meia changed out of hers and was wearing a more normal uniform, tan pants with a black top indicating her rank on board the ship. He said nothing as they continued down to the cafeteria.
Walking into the cafeteria they both quickly made their way over to where the food was handed out. Randy took a couple of slices of pizza before leading Meia over to one of the tables.
“John, mind if we join you?” Randy asked standing close by.
He watched John look up at him then over at Meia, taking a second to recognize her before answering. “Nah, have a seat, going over the latest reports.”
Randy nodded and sat down as did Meia.
“You still have blonde hair, looks a bit strange,” John said to her.
Randy looked over as well before giving his opinion. “It does look a bit strange, you going to keep it for a while?”
“Thought I might, keep people guessing as to what I’ll do next,” Meia replied with a smile.
“You don’t have to change your hair color to do that,” John said with a chuckle.
Randy joined in a bit knowing it for the truth. “I think the teens of Pacifica will be disappointed in that decision though.”
“That’s the truth,” John said.
“She starts a fad and is now no longer part of it. They’ll be devastated,” Randy said to Meia. “My mother said the teens were really excited about your hair color, starting a bit of a rebellious streak. Guess it could be worse.”
“It was probably a phase anyways,” John said. “You know how tees go from one fad to another quicker than my fighter can turn.”
“That’s the truth,” Randy replied, looking over at Meia. “The doctor’s report came back and you’re fine. I’m putting you back on active duty.”
“That’s a relief, I’ll be able to count on one person in my squadron then,” John said. “You’ll probably want to check out your fighter, Ben’s been working on it.”
“I’ll do it after we finish eating,” Meia stated.
Randy sat back as the three of them ate feeling a bit better now that Meia seemed a bit more like her normal self.
“Oh, I do have a few things I need from you,” Randy said to her.
“Anything you need,” Meia said with a smile.
“Uh,” Randy managed to squeak out wondering if Meia was flirting with him. He quickly managed to recover to ask his question. “Once we’re back at the Pacifica I need your help to fil out the report to HQ, and I still need your report about what happened planetside.”
“I’m almost finished with it, just taking me some time to get all down in words,” Meia replied back to him. “And I’ll be happy to help out at HQ and answer any questions.”
“Good, because I don’t think this war has seen the last of the fighting,” Randy said to them both. “I think our best bet might be some sort of convert operation using you and your station as an Alpha Supreme.”
“Might be possible, but the people might not believe me,” Meia replied. “If we move quickly before they can cover everything up it might work. Many are confused and new leadership might be what they need.”
“We’ll bring up the possibility at HQ,” Randy said finally.
He hoped things appeared better than the situation was a few hours ago. With Meia’s help they might finally have a plan to end the threat of the Cimalian Empire once and for all. He finished his meal and looked at the time.
“I need to head back to the bridge and see what’s going on,’ Randy said to them.
“I’ll finish off the report,” Meia said, getting up with Randy.
“John, if anything comes up in the reports, let me know,” Randy said to John.
“Will do skip,” John promised.
Randy turned and left with Meia. They made their way to elevators and he knew she would be going down while he went up. The elevator doors opened for a car to go down.
“I’ll see you later,” Meia said to him.
“Count on it,” Randy replied.
“Good,” Meia said, then surprised him with a quick hung before stepping onto the elevator and going down.
Randy stood there for several seconds until he realized his elevator arrived. He managed to keep the doors from closing and walked aboard giving his floor destination. Now he had to recover from the outburst of affection from Meia and concentrate on his job.
He recovered enough that he felt normal by the time he arrived on the bridge. He did not need the bridge crew seeing him like a school boy with his first crush.
Ann watched the elevator doors open for her floor feeling a bit relieved she no longer had to act interested in Randy. She had memories of some romantic feeling towards the man which she remembered after meeting him.
Now she had to finish the hades of a report. She only recently figured out where the report form was on the computer, and that was after recalling the password for the computer. Ann was lucky Meia used it often and wondered what Randy might think about it, after all, his name was not a very secretive word.
“Hey, Meia, didn’t recognize you,” another person said in the hallway.
Ann mentally rolled her eyes while facing the man. “Yeah, thought I’d try something new, what’d’ya think?” she asked, fingering a lock of the blonde hair.
“Um, looks good,” the man stammered.
Meia smirked inwardly at the man’s obvious discomfort with the question.
“Well, I’ll see you around,” Ann said continuing on her way to her quarters. It became obvious to her that Meia had gained the trust of everyone on board. That made her life both harder and easier. The fact few would question her choices but there were many people she might not recall.
She quickly returned to her quarters before encountering anyone else. She sat down and completed the report for the fools in the Alliance. She had no doubt about pulling off this part of her mission. The Alliance trusted Meia too much already and she would use that to her advantage.
Smiling as she completed the report she put in anything Meia might have put in. She already knew more than she put into the report. Going over the wording several times she finally felt satisfied with the result.
“Ironic dear uncle, you put me in the best position to take the throne from you,” Ann said to herself giving a chuckle about it. She could use the Alliance itself to help put her on the throne and they would never realize it.
End part 14